Saturday 8 May 2021

Hybrid Chess is a mixed bag

 While there was a lot of work put into developing the FIDE rules for Hybrid Chess (including work done by myself), how it would actually work was a different issue. Thus year has seen a few hybrid events, and while it has generally worked well, there have been a few issues of note.

The 2021 Oceania Zonal was held over 2 weekends, with players from around the Pacific. Weirdly, the challenge wasn't getting the players to enter, but finding enough arbiters. There were 20 officials for 8 players(!), which was an unexpected feature. On reflection this should have been obvious, given the need for 1 or 2 venues for each player, but for an event which usually get's by with 2 or 3 arbiters, this was a big change.

The current Zone 3.3 Championship is also having issues, including a few caused by Covid itself. As players are supposed to play from a central venue (rather than from their own homes) and venue/travel restrictions can cause problems for the players. This seems to be the case for some Malaysian players, who have been affected by sudden government restrictions.

And the final issue (from an entirely different event) is the effect of misclicks (eg mouseslips)  on the result. In a game where a player had a mate in 2 starting with Qh7+ followed by Qh8, the queen was moved directly to h8, turning a win into a loss. While the result is unfortunate (and the fault of the player), the fact this almost certainly would not occur in OTB has raised questions about the FIDE rating of such games.

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